A Yemeni woman sits at a cafe in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, March 2, 2017.
An armed Yemeni rebel group has taken control of most of the capital city of Sanaa and is preparing for a large-scale military operation, according to the country’s health ministry.
The rebels have taken control over the main airport in Sana’a and other major areas in the capital, according a statement released by the health ministry on Friday.
“The Houthis’ attacks on the city of Taiz have been repelled and we are in a good position,” the statement read.
“However, the situation in the country is deteriorating and the health system is in a state of crisis.”
The health ministry has been unable to provide a breakdown of casualties from Friday’s violence.
The United Nations said on Friday that more than 30,000 people have been killed since the Houthis seized the capital from President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2014.
In December, Houthi rebels, who have long opposed the Saudi-led coalition, took control of Sana’e airport after a four-year battle with government forces.
The Houthis also captured the port city of Aden in late 2015, though they withdrew after they were forced to withdraw in February following an air campaign by coalition forces.
Saudi Arabia has accused the Houthi-led rebels of arming and financing the militants in Yemen, though the kingdom has denied this.
The Houthi group’s seizure of Sanaes capital has left hundreds of thousands of people in need of humanitarian assistance, including food, medicine, and fuel.
The group has seized several airports, including Sana’ei, and has declared a new Islamic caliphate in the north and east of the country.
A Yemeni girl, who is blind, sits on a chair at a hotel in Sanaaa, Yemen March 2.
The government is calling for all citizens to return to their homes.
Yemeni security forces and pro-Houthi rebels stand next to vehicles at a checkpoint near the airport in the city, Sanaa March 2.(AP Photo/Ahmed Jadallah) A wounded child stands next to a damaged vehicle at a hospital in Sanaah March 2 after a suspected missile strike by Houthi fighters hit a bus in the Yemeni capital, Sana’aa, March 1.
Civilians sit in the streets as they gather in front of the Sanaa airport in Yemen March 1 after a missile strike from Houthi insurgents hit a vehicle, killing at least nine people.(AP photo/Ahmad Jadalla) Residents gather in the al-Shura street after a bombing in Sanaea March 1.(AP file photo) Houthis gather at the airport after being hit by a missile on March 1 in Sanae, Yemen.(AP files) Civilian mourners gather on the streets after a rocket hit a convoy in Sanaai, Yemen April 7, 2017.(AP: Ahmed Jadallas)